(NOTE: The following letter was included in this newsletter on February 23, 2022. As we prepare to welcome Rev. Carey to UUMC, it is reprinted here to re-introduce her to our congregation. Rev. Carey’s first Sunday at UUMC will be Sunday, July 3. A welcome reception will be held on Sunday, July 17 following worship.)
Dear Members and Friends of University United Methodist Church,
As Co-Chairpersons of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, we wish to announce to you the appointment of Reverend Melanie Carey as our new pastor effective July 1, 2022. Rev. Carey and her husband, Jon, were introduced to the SPRC by District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Jerome DeVine. We are enthused about the gifts and abilities that Rev. Carey brings to our congregation!
Rev. Melanie Lee Carey was born in Hartford, Connecticut and made her way to Michigan when her father was transferred to the Midwest with his company. She graduated from Chelsea High School and earned a B.A. in Spanish from Kalamazoo College. During her childhood years, her parents hosted seven exchange students from countries all over the world. Rev. Carey was an exchange student herself to Cartagena, Colombia in 1982. During college, Rev. Carey lived in Spain, Costa Rica, and in El Paso, Texas where she worked with Central American refugees at Annunciation House, which was founded by Mother Teresa. Rev. Carey graduated from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in 1991 with a Masters in Divinity and was ordained as an Elder in The United Methodist Church in 1993.
Rev. Carey is the co-author of Pentecost Journey, a training manual for non-Latino local churches who wish to reach out in ministry to the Latino communities around them. Fluent in Spanish, she has served as a facilitator and consultant for the National Plan for Hispanic Latino Ministries of the United Methodist Church and helped to establish Justice For Neighbors (JFON) in the former Detroit Conference. JFON provides free, high-quality immigration legal services for those in need. Rev. Carey was elected as one of the Detroit Annual Conference clergy delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2012, 2016, and 2019. She has served in various leadership roles in the Michigan Conference and is a past recipient of the John L. Buxton Award for Creative Leadership, as well as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award from the Detroit Renaissance District. Currently, she is a consultant for local churches in the Simplified Accountable Structure (SAS) for Missional Effectiveness.
Rev. Carey has served the following churches as pastor: Hudson First, Livonia Newburg (as associate pastor), and Ypsilanti First. She also served as District Superintendent of the Detroit Renaissance District and as Clergy Assistant to the Bishop for the Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church. Since July of 2016, Rev. Carey has been serving as the lead pastor of Nardin Park United Methodist Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Rev. Carey is passionate about helping local churches to develop and implement a strategic vision for ministry. She cares deeply about increasing local church vitality and relevance to today’s changing demographics through cultivating effective leaders for ministries and helping churches reach out to their surrounding community in service and witness for Jesus Christ.
Rev. Carey is married to Jon Carey, a legal aid attorney. Together they are the parents of Nick and Grace Carey. In July of 2021, they celebrated the wedding of their son, Nick, and his wife, Casey.
In her spare time, Rev. Carey enjoys reading, watching movies, scrapbooking, card making, and spending time with friends and family.
We will be planning a warm welcome for Rev. Carey. Together we will celebrate the ministry of Rev. Bills and Julie and thank them for their years of faithful service.
We are so pleased to make this announcement to you and know that you will enjoy meeting Rev. Melanie Carey and Jon. Please keep them and Rev. Bills and Julie in your prayers during this time of transition.
May we trust in God’s amazing grace, the love of Christ, and the power of his holy spirit as we move together into the future.
In Christ’s service,
Shelley Jackson and Brian Calloway
Co-Chairpersons for the Staff-Parish Relations Committee of the University United Methodist Church
At University United Methodist Church, we affirm that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are an open and inclusive congregation and welcome all persons into full participation regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, age, ability, education, background and whether single or partnered.